Plant facilities are packed with signals distributed all around the plant. Some of these signals make it to the control room through the different control systems. Others are manually collected, and managing them usually represents a tough challenge that consumes time, cost and effort without achieving the required data accuracy, reliability and quality.
Plant operations and other business functions at Methanex requested a solution to collect, archive, visualize and analyze the manually-collected data in an efficient and reliable manner similar to the real-time data managed by the PI System. It is of equal importance to minimize time between data collection and its availability to business network users. Achieving this would improve the quality of the problem investigation process and support the business decision making in a timely fashion. However, these benefits could only be achieved after overcoming the challenges associated with these kinds of tasks dealing with the management of manual data interface.
PI Manual Logger (PIML) system (including PIML client and mobile applications) combined with data logger handheld devices equipped with bar-coding capabilities were used. These allow data collection and interface to the existing PI Server. It presented a reliable solution, provided significant cost and effort savings and significantly reduced the time required to make the data available. Now there are 4,500 manual daily readings available for all business stakeholders and PI System clients that use this solution. Plant manual data has become part of the PI System data platform, which enables plant users to benefit from the standard PI System features and make business decisions in real-time.
Ayman Massoud is a Senior System Analyst in the Egyptian IT department of Methanex. With ten years of experiences in IT using multiple enterprise business and operation applications including Oracle, SAP, IBM Maximo, and PI System, Massoud has both a BSc and an MSc in Computer Sciences and is a PhD candidate in Software Engineering.